May 28 2011

Rhubarb Rhubarb!

Category: PersonalChrisM @ 5:35 pm

As I mentioned in a tweet earlier today, this morning I went to a casting session. A friend (I’ll hang fire on naming him until I’ve checked if he is OK with it) mentioned it yesterday, as it was taking place in his offices. They were looking for both locals and foreigners here in Astana, for a film that will start shooting soon. I don’t really know a lot about the movie yet. It is being shot in both Kazakhstan and Britain (Astana and Bristol I believe, but the details I picked up were second hand, and I was a little hungover at the time 🙂 ).
Anyway, I found out the casting was taking place at my friend’s office, and as I hadn’t been there before, rang up beforehand to get the address. When he showed me around, I was really impressed with the scale and attention to detail with the place. It is split across two floors, with a balcony running around the upper floor. There were posters and leaflets up, advertising the various services they provide, and it had quite a welcoming feel to it.
I have seen a few offices here in Kazakhstan that house similar businesses, and this was by the far the classiest I’ve seen so far. Compared to offices in Britain, where perhaps they will be looking to shoot their next scene, offices here are a little different. For example, the concept of space and use of office supplies varies a lot, there aren’t so many identikit telephone and filing cabinets, here you can sometimes find an organisation without the corporate feel. All in all though, I was more than a little surprised at the office setting. So, going upstairs, I went in to a room and met the director (producer? script writer? random crew member?), and after taking my details, he explained (via the same friend who was translating for me) they wanted to see me act out a scene. Given that there were a lot of office supplies around us, I was surprised to discover I’d be pretending to have just woken in bed!
Some of the local men and women had information typed out, so I’m not sure whether they had a little more time to imagine what they were going to do. Then I was to get up, wander over to an imaginary mirror (avoiding the desks, chairs and piles of paper on the way), and discover that my fictional flatmate had placed a sticker on my head, and then have a couple of different reactions/emotions to it. This was all recorded on a handheld camera, and as I’ve not done one of these before, I found it a little difficult to pretend the camera wasn’t there. I have no idea at all if this is a scene from the film, or just a random scenario that gets used in such auditions, so I’ll not reveal any more information about it for now, in case it turns out to be a spoiler!
My friend had already been picked to play a large role in the film, and I had turned up just to see what a casting session was actually like in real life. Despite a couple of friends joking about needing to be careful if there was a casting couch involved (!) everything seemed to go fine. I have absolutely no idea what sort of role they want me for, but I’m assuming it will be some sort of non-speaking, blink and you’ll miss me “Crowd Member #15” situation 🙂 .